What are your NPC tags?

I love how BitD and other Forged in the Dark game give very brief descriptions of NPCs in each faction. For example:

Ulf Ironborn (leader, ruthless, savage, bold).

There’s just enough detail to jump-start your imagination, but not too much that you can’t decide what that looks like for your own group. Also it’s an efficient way of writing hundreds of NPCs.

In my own hack I tried to include 3 things that were important to me in each NPC tag: character, appearance, and gender. These give the GM and players a general idea of how each character might behave, what they look like, and what pronouns they use. As a GM these are the things I look for when introducing a new character or describing what they are doing during a scene. For example:

Barossa (syndicate boss, he/they, well-dressed, cybernetic spider legs, lounge singer, sly)

I’m curious how do you all come up with your NPC tags? What do you tend to include, what do you tend to leave out?


I like to include tags that complement and contrast the other NPCs in their faction, so the GM can see a snapshot of those relationships. I generally like factions that aren’t too monolithic, with internal politics and friction to be exploited.